Our Team

Founder & Chairperson

Dolly Singh is a poet in English language, and the Founder & director of Delhi Poetry Festival. Her work has been widely published in various anthologies. She has edited poetry books - The Awakening of She, Mélange - a potpourri of thoughts and U-Special.

Her latest book, Frozen in a Pause - a photo-poetry coffee table book with Photographer Ravi Dhingra has received rave reviews.

Currently, she is finalizing her next book on the poetry of lyricist Irshad Kamil.

Dolly is also the founder of NewLeaf Minds - an initiative dedicated to school children. Her commitment to children's poetry gave way to a standalone children's platform to encourage poetry among young minds. She takes poetry workshops for children and has so far published and edited 4 anthologies for children - Fledglings, My Little Verse, Pocketful of Sunshine, and Nature's Jamboree. She also works actively for under privileged children.

Delhi Poetry Festival under the leadership of Dolly, recently launched Indian poetry League(IPL) which ran through colleges across Delhi/ NCR.

She was conferred with Rex Karamveer Chakra in 2015 & 2016 for her contribution to the promotion of poetry.

Festival Producer

Sanjay is the festival producer, bringing with him the experience of over 25 years of a start-up strategist and of an advertising professional. Sanjay is a poetry and music enthusiast. Having straddled multiple roles across Sales, Advertising, Training and IT, Sanjay has come to find his manna in the chaotic world of start-ups. After playing critical roles in the setting up of 2 start-ups in the last decade, Sanjay now divides his time between a few interesting tech start-ups in the HR domain. He manages a music group that jams on a regular basis. He is also a collector of Ganeshas.

Board of Patrons

Sukrita Paul Kumar, born in Kenya, lives currently in Delhi, writing poetry and teaching literature. An Honorary Fellow of the International Writing Programme, University of Iowa, Cambridge Seminars and a former Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, she was also an invited poet in residence at Hong Kong Baptist University. A recipient of many international fellowships, she is Honorary faculty at the Durrell Centre at Corfu (Greece). Her books of poems include Dream Catcher, Poems Come Home (with translations by Gulzar), Without Margins and Folds of Silence. Amongst others, Sukrita’s critical works include Narrating Partition. Her edited/co-edited books include Speaking for Herself: Asian Women’s Writings (Penguin) and Cultural Diversity in India (Macmillan India). She is also a translator and an artist.

Keki N. Daruwalla (born 1937) is a major Indian poet and short story writer in English language. He has written over 12 books and published his first novel For Pepper and Christ in 2009. He is also a former Indian Police Service officer, who retired as Additional Director in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW).

He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, in 1984 for his poetry collection, The Keeper of the Dead, by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters. He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, in 2014.

Born on February 8th, 1940 in Bareily, Uttar Pradesh, Prof. Waseem Barelvi is one of the most renowned Urdu poets of India. An Urdu Literature masters from Agra University, he is currently the Vice Chairman, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, HRD Ministry, and Govt. of India.

Winner of several National and International awards, he has been published in scores of reputed literary magazines; both in India and overseas. His ghazals and nazms have been sung by prominent singers from Indian Film fraternity. A poet of various moods, he has published more than six collections of poetry in Urdu and two in Hindi.

Janab Waseem Barelvi is also the Chairman of the Board of Patrons

मरने के बाद
कुछ नहीं सोचता |

मरने के बाद
कुछ नहीं बोलता |

कुछ नहीं सोचने
और कुछ नहीं बोलने पर
मर जाता है |

Uday Prakash, born January 1, 1952, is a Hindi poet, scholar, journalist, translator and short story writer. He has worked as an administrator, editor, researcher, and TV director. He writes for major dailies and periodicals as a free-lance writer. He has also received several awards including 2010 Sahitya Akademi Award in Hindi for his collection of short stories, Mohan Das. Uday Prakash is known for the secular, liberal and pro Dalit and minorities’ outlook.

An Ex – IAS of 1974 batch, Robin, retired as financial commissioner, Government of Punjab. He also had a brief stint with the Indian Police Service, before he was accepted into Indian Administrative Service. As a civil servant he has a unique distinction of serving in 4 Indian provinces, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.
Robin Gupta has been writing through his life poetry and prose on diverse subjects, ranging from music, history, art, culture and Sufism.
A selection of his poems, A bouquet of thoughts, was published in 2002. His latest autobiographical book, ‘And What Remains in the End’ has received rave reviews.

Advisory Board

Sunil has been executive producer to two feature films, he has managed a radio station, done programming for a television channel, set up a film studio, managed a host of fashion shows, been on the management committee of a management institute, looked after corporate communication of a large conglomerate of companies, sees and writes about films. And says he survives in this world because he can get to write poetry. He says he does all this for his soul; for his body he manages finance.

His first book of poems ‘ Of love & other abandonments’ was #1 in Hot New Releases on Amazon and #2 in Poetry.

Danish Iqbal is a writer and theatre person who has done pioneering work in Drama, combining different styles seamlessly to project the unifying thread of Indian literary traditions. With his innovative creativity that transcends cultural boundaries, Danish’s robust dramatic works have been emulated by many of his peers in the field. He combines in himself various roles of a performer, teacher, writer, researcher, cultural organizer, arts administrator and media person and to all of which he brings exacting standards. His passionate belief in the strength of our cultural tradition combined with a contemporary understanding of the changing dynamics in the art world; the intrinsic artistic values give Danish’s performances an aesthetic and immediate appeal.

Rene Singh is trained as a semi classical music and has a vast knowledge of Sufi and Urdu poetry. She curates and designs modules and workshops through poetry and music. She has partnered with UNICEF to create stories for community radio in the remote villages of India. She has created the TOUCH a CHORD choir with under privileged children She has also curated and is the lead singer for several musical performances including ‘let there be no tears’, a musical on Gandhi’s philosophy.

Atul Tiwari hails from Lucknow and is trained in theatre direction at the NATIONAL SCHOOL OF DRAMA (New Delhi), GERMAN NATIONAL THEATRE (Weimar) and the BERLINER ENSAMBLE (Berlin).

In 1989 Atul shifted to Bombay to write feature-films and has since written for many prominent directors like Girish Kasarvali, Govind Nihalani, Sudhir Mishra, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Ravi Kumar(Tamil), Kamal Haasan and Shyam Benegal.

Atul has conceived and created museums and directed multimedia experiences including ‘Dandi Kutir’; world’s biggest museum dedicated to any individual, based on life-times-philosophy of MAHATMA GANDHI.

After a museum on Punjab’s contribution to India’s freedom struggle called “JUNG-E-AZADI”, he is currently working on a big museum on Sardar Patel.

As an actor, Atul has done several popular and respected feature films like: Three Idiots, Akrosh, Vishwaroopam, Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and P.K. the biggest grosser ever of Indian Cinema.

Atul regularly presents papers and teaches theatre, film, screenwriting and history at universities and colleges all over the country and abroad. He is a member of the Executive Board of Sangeet Natak Akademy (New Delhi).

A graduate in English and post graduate in theatre, Joy has a 20-year experience with directors ranging from Habib Tanveer, Barry John, Lillete Dubey & Feroze Khan. Engaged in Cultural activism with Safdar Hashmi and Jan Natya Manch. Performed extensively across international platforms like
Off Broadway, West-End, Edenborough fringe festival, NADA Sydney.
Joy has won best actor at Mahindra excellence in Theatre and V Shantaram award for debut film – Hazar Chaurasi ki Ma. He is also the recipient of 8 national and international awards in Hindi Bengali and English movies collectively. His recent releases include Hate Story, Hawaizada, Rough Book. Bhopal, A prayer for Rain and Bodhan. He has worked in over 25 tele films and 50 ad films.

Sujay Mehdudia has over 26 years of experience in journalism and has worked with some of the leading and Hindi publications in various capacities.

During his career he has reported on politics, government, telecom, power, infrastructure, business and economy among other sectors. As an investigative political journalist, he has spent 17 years with The Hindu, and almost two years with Amar Ujala as its Business Editor. He began his career with United News of India (UNI) and has worked as a Correspondent for four years in Jammu & Kashmir in early Nineties. He joined Integral PR as an Advisor in December 2015 based out of New Delhi and took over as the CEO on July 15, 2016. He has played a big role in developing content and outreach strategies for media and Government in the present set up.
Sujay was honoured with the “Best Journalist of the Year” award at a public function in Delhi by the UPA chairperson, Sonia Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit.

Planning Board

Sujata Parashar, a bestselling novelist, poet, short story writer and activist has authored 3 novels – In Pursuit of Infidelity (2009), In Pursuit of Ecstasy (2011) and In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence (2014). Besides these, she has to her credit, a short fiction, Wake me only when the Sun is high (2011) and a poetry collection – Poetry Out and Loud (2012). She has won many awards and acclamations for her writings. Sujata is also a member of the Planning Board @ Kumaon Literary Festival.

Sujata, a masters in Human Rights, is a certified Travel & Tourism Management professional. She has also worked for a European airline, a business hotel in India and a sea-side resort in Singapore before joining the Social sector. She is currently on the board of Empowering Minds – a national level NGO that provides psychosocial support to bleeding disorders community.

Aparajita Mangotra is an Economics graduate from Delhi University. She is successful investment banker who holds MBA degree in Finance. Her passion is not limited to the successful execution of biggest corporate funding deals. Her heart beats for poetry. Her sense of poetry can differentiate Ghalib from Firaq and can join Gulzar with Javed Akhtar.

Shabri is an author and poet. She began her writing career in 2017 with her debut novel called Borderline. She herself suffers from borderline personality disorder personality and wrote the book to turn tragedy into triumph. Her second book is a psychological thriller.

Sumit G Sehgal is an international wordsmith with a literary experience spanning eleven years with twenty-nine e-books in tow. This aspiring literary wizard took it upon himself to spend his entire quality time helping other people create literary masterpieces. This beautiful vision and his never-ending efforts have helped many literary aspirants realize their dreams.

He currently heads Butterfly & The Bee …your literary angles, an erudite hub for India’s literati. A multi-talented person, Sumit’s varied experiences in the project design and management and strategic development lead him to meet many different people and face productive settings.

Sumit has been nominated for Rex Global Fellowship and Karamveer Chakra Award 2016 for his contribution to the Indian Literary World.

Development Team

Supriya is currently pursuing her advance studies in English language in Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Born and brought up in the tea capital of Northern India – Palampur, she published her debut poetry anthology “The Myriad” when she was sixteen. Her book on poems, “Musings of Miss Yellow” was published recently. She was one of the four Indian poets who participated in the annual 100 Thousand Poets for Change World Conference in Salerno, Italy this June. She also relished the poetry scene in Kuala Lumpur, while she was travelling in Southeast Asia this September, where she attended their 100 Thousand Poets for Change KL chapter.

Madhu is a poet, social activist, and art event curator. He works in public health and women empowerment. He is the founder of Poetry Couture, one of India’s largest pro-bono poetry initiatives. Formerly, he was working as a Senior Consultant to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. He was a resident artist at Basar Confluence, one of Arunachal Pradesh’s first artist residency programme. His recent book of poems – ‘Make Me Some Love To Eat’ has been well received nationwide.

A chemistry graduate who manages business operations taking inspiration from almost everything for her poetry. Balancing reality with poetry is what she is passionate about. Majorly writing in Hindi/Urdu, she is also a spoken word artist.

Arijit Roy, a student poet in Sri Venkateswara college in Delhi University. He is the founder and president of Petrichor – The creative writing society of Venky. He is also a regular blogger at WordPress by the name of magicrealistboy.